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How Innovation is Changing the Pace for Industry Players

How Innovation is Changing the Pace for Industry Players

Westerville, Ohio-based DHL Supply Chain, a leader in contract logistics in the Americas and a part of the Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Post DHL Group, issued a report that found 65 percent of responding companies believe technology is having a significant impact on their supply chain.
That begs the question: Who are the other 35 percent? Because keeping up with technology is critical for just about any business these days, but most especially for those that rely on supply chains, which are tasked with moving everything from retail products and industrial equipment to perishable foods and critical medicines.

Essentially, we are at a point in the 3PL industry where companies must decide whether they are going to continue being the equivalent of hotels, taxis and encyclopedias or Airbnb, Uber and Google. The future is not now, we are already blazing in the fast lane.

DHL was already leveraging emerging technologies at 85 of its 430 North American facilities in November, when the 3PL announced it was making another $300 million technology investment to create the next generation supply chain. The goal now is to have emerging technologies deployed in 350 of DHL’s North American facilities and transportation control towers.
These technologies are going to vary by customer needs, based on the outcomes of research and pilot programs completed by DHL’s internal innovation teams and collaboration with dozens of external innovators. But it is already being played out in the acceleration of robotics, augmented reality, robotics process automation, IoT and DHL’s proprietary end-to-end visibility solution MySupplyChain.

“This investment is about a holistic view of emerging technologies that enables our customers to achieve their growth and profitability goals,” said DHL Supply Chain North America CEO Scott Sureddin in the announcement. “Our customers’ needs are not homogenous as each business and segment has unique challenges and levels of maturity. Therefore, it is important that our customers can benefit from our experiences and expertise with a variety of emerging technologies.”

This summer, DHL’s 24,000-square-foot Americas Innovation Center is scheduled to open just outside Chicago, where technologies and innovations the business is already implementing across the region will be exhibited. And the 3PL began 2019 by implementing innovative processes to improve the hiring and retention of warehouse workers across its network. That rapidly paid off in the form of 445 daily applications and nearly 32,000 fewer hours spent on administrative hiring tasks.

“Our customers rely on us to provide talent that consistently meets their needs; and to accomplish that, we apply the same level of operational excellence to talent acquisition and retention as we do in developing supply chain solutions for our customers,” says Tim Sprosty, senior vice president of Human Resources at DHL Supply Chain. “Using a combination of innovative thinking and disciplined execution to attract and retain the people our business depends on is resulting in significant benefits.”
Profound (and rapid) change is indeed a result of innovation. What follows are just some of the developments you should be paying attention to lest you get left behind with the supply chain equivalents of stale mints under your pillows, sticky cab seats and out-of-date World Books.

DB Schenker and IAM Robotics’ Warehouse of the Future

Last fall brought the announcement that DB Schenker Americas, which is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and serves this side of the globe for Essen, Germany-based logistics solutions and supply-chain management giant DB Schenker, and IAM Robotics of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, are pooling together their respective expertise to develop the “warehouse of the future.”

DB Schenker Americas is utilizing IAM’s mobile, piece-picking robotic technology because, as the companies’ reps will tell you, the modern-day supply chain does a lot more than move products from one place to the next. Automation is key to meeting customer demands for flexibility, visibility, and transparency.

MHI, the nation’s largest material handling, logistics and supply chain association, as well as the presenter of the ProMat and MODEX expos, reports that 34 percent of companies are looking to robotics and automation to improve overall supply chain efficiencies by handling previously manual tasks such as picking, sorting, inspecting, storing, handling and classifying products. Within five years, MHI expects robotics and automation adoption to rise to 53 percent.

“This expected rise in adoption suggests that firms recognize robotics and automation as integral tools to maintain and increase competitive advantage through NextGen supply chains,” the MHI report states. “As automation becomes smarter, safer, and more accurate, it is also becoming less expensive and easier to implement—helping to drive adoption.”
Which brings us to the DB Schenker-IAM Robotics smart warehouse. “This is a true collaboration in the sense that DB Schenker knows the logistics industry inside and out, and IAM Robotics has an incredible depth of technological knowledge and innovation,” says John Stikes, DB Schenker America’s director of Innovation and e-commerce. “By bringing these two powerful forces together, we can challenge one another and come up with solutions that literally take warehousing to the next level.”

A warehouse of the future or “smart factory” concept folds nicely into Industry 4.0, which is the current trend of using automation and data exchange (i.e., the Internet of Things, cloud computing, cognitive computing, etc.) in manufacturing technologies.

“In the warehouse, fully-automated applications will be the key to sustainability and competitiveness in the new marketplace,” Stikes says. “Through automation, companies can achieve compelling economic advantages while alleviating their labor issues, and then redeploy that labor to more thought-involved processes and gain enhanced flexibility in their operations.”

Schneider and Trucker Tools’ Load Track and Smart Capacity Software

Schneider generated $4.4 billion in revenues in 2017 and is routinely named among the best third-party logistics companies in the United States. But success can bring headaches, and the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company’s brain trust was chomping aspirins over the need to support its growing network of carriers and freight brokerage operations, which just happen to be among the nation’s largest.

What’s a mighty 3PL to do? Look to another third party, which is what Schneider’s Transportation Management division did when it latched onto Trucker Tools. Specifically, Schneider adopted the Reston, Virginia-based company’s load tracking, carrier engagement, capacity visibility and predictive freight-matching software.

“We are growing our capabilities with Trucker Tools to deliver a better experience for carriers and easier access to the high-quality loads they expect from Schneider,” beams Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider’s senior vice president and general manager of Logistics Services.

As Schneider moves loads and interacts with thousands of carriers daily that include small trucking fleets and owner-operators in North America, the 3PL is incorporating Load Track and Smart Capacity, two of Trucker Tools’ principal, cloud-based software applications. “With Load Track, our carriers have an easy-to-use platform for delivering quality information on the progress and status of loads in transit as well as visibility to available loads,” says Van Zeeland. “This allows us to more efficiently connect the right loads with the right carriers while enhancing the visibility shippers want.”

Meanwhile, the Smart Capacity platform provides brokers with predictive freight-matching tools and real-time, trusted visibility into when and where trucks are available. Schneider is also leveraging Trucker Tools’ mobile driver app, which can be accessed by the expanding network of small carriers and micro-operators. Indeed, Van Zeeland concedes the app was “a big selling point” because of its popularity with small and micro-carriers, who appreciate having at their fingertips “a variety of useful driver-centric tools, information and resources.”

The mobile app, which has been downloaded by more than 500,000 truck drivers, allows the Load Track feature to use a smartphone’s GPS software to continually update and deliver precise location data, which is sent from the driver’s device to the broker over Trucker Tools’ confidential, secure network.

BNSF Logistics and Blume Global’s Digital Supply Chain Platform

BNSF Logistics, a multi-modal, 3PL services provider specializing in the movement of freight around the globe, obviously figures even bigger is even better. So to fuel a major worldwide expansion, the 3PL recently adopted Blume Global’s digital supply chain platform.

Pleasanton, California-based Blume Global, which was formerly known as REZ-1, is a high-growth company with a 24-year history of delivering innovation in the global supply chain ecosystem. Its digital supply chain solutions now help BNSF Logistics—a subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway company—optimize the intermodal transport services it offers to customers across the globe.

Specifically, Blume Global has tightly integrated BNSF Logistics’ distributed supply chain—collecting and analyzing data to optimize every touchpoint between the 3PL, its logistics providers and its customers. This data-driven approach includes powerful end-to-end global visibility for cargo and containers around the world, across every mode and provider, down to the last mile.

BNSF Logistics is also tapping into Blume’s vast global network of more than 4,200 motor carriers for its customers and using Blume Finance to streamline the entire freight audit and pay process across its network of suppliers.

“Blume Global is a critical digital supply chain platform that will allow us to deliver an exceptional logistics experience to our customers while driving aggressive global expansion goals,” says Dan Curtis, the BNSF Logistics president. “For our customers, Blume’s capabilities enhance our ability to manage our customers’ complex supply chains. This addition will help take us to the next level, arming us with critical real-time information and powerful, data-driven capabilities to measure and optimize our entire process while maximizing efficiency, as well as leveraging Blume’s comprehensive network of motor carriers.”

“BNSF Logistics has moved cargo across the country and around the world for years,” notes Blume Global’s CEO Pervinder Johar. “As they continue to extend their capabilities into new markets, geographies and modes, Blume Global is dedicated to helping BNSF Logistics deliver excellent, consistent logistics experiences for its customers. Blume’s capabilities will power BNSF Logistics’ data-driven approach to integrate, measure and ultimately optimize every interaction within its customers’ supply chains.”

Blume Global’s track record obviously stood out for BNSF Logistics (which does, after all, know a thing or three about tracks). Among Blume’s other happy clients are Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern Corp. Blume, which unveiled its name change from REZ-1 during last September’s IANA Intermodal Expo in Long Beach, announced in January that it is now being listed as a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s “Market Guide for Real-Time Visibility Providers.”

USPS and Tive Inc.’s Return-By-Mail Tracker

Tive Inc., a leading provider of in-transit supply chain tracking solutions, has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service on a return-by-mail tracker that enables seamless return logistics for shipments within the 50 states. The new capability significantly simplifies return logistics for manufacturers and shippers that rely on Tive’s tracker and software solution to maintain end-to-end visibility into their in-transit goods, boasts the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company.

“With our new return-by mail tracker, we have significantly accelerated tracker reuse and reduced the complexity of return logistics for our customers,” says Tive CEO and founder Krenar Komoni. “As Tive works with more and more companies to bring a new level of visibility to their supply chains, we are committed to making it as easy as possible for our customers to use our solution and integrate our trackers and software into their existing operations.”

Tive provides a sensor and software solution that allows supply chain managers to track and analyze the location and condition of their shipments in real time. The company’s proprietary low-power multi-sensor tracker uses cellular connectivity to provide real-time monitoring and analysis of the location, climate and integrity of shipments. Supply chain managers access this data and analysis through the Tive software platform, where they can set up custom alerts like ETA warnings, temperature deviations or geofences. They can also use the Tive API to pull data into external SCM, TMS or ERP systems and gather insights into their supply chain.

Tive’s newly developed return-by-mail tracker can be placed directly in any postal box in the U.S. without the need for any special labeling or packaging. This means that trackers can be placed with shipments going anywhere in the country, and the recipient can just collect the trackers and put them in any standard mailbox to get them back to Tive or the origin address. The tracker comes with a sturdy mailing sleeve that has been approved for use by the Postal Service.

Meanwhile, Tive is pursuing a similar service with international postal services that would enable companies to take advantage of global return logistics at limited additional cost.

Reducing Emissions

DHL Adds Electric Delivery Vans Supporting Reduced Emissions

Leading international express services provider, DHL, confirmed the addition of electronic delivery vans to its alternative fuel vehicle fleet to support company goals to reduce emissions.

By 2025, the company hopes to have at least 70 percent of its delivery services performed with clean transport modes. Beyond 2025, the company’s vision is to be 100 percent emissions-free, with 2050 slated at the goal year. The new fleet boasts features including most efficient last-mile delivery and work truck systems available with the ability to run up to 100 miles on a single charge.

“Throughout the United States, DHL has proactively sought opportunities in select markets where we can implement AFV fleets that will help us reach our clean transport goals while continuing to provide a superior service experience,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S.

“This year alone, nearly 30 percent of our new vehicles will be alternative fuel. We’re excited about the technologies that continue to emerge in this area and how they are benefiting the logistics industry.”

Global companies continue following the increasing trend of implementing eco-friendly and sustainable options in transportation, from shippers to trucking and beyond. These efforts promote sustainable transportation as a standard, ultimately raising the bar for all players in the shipping and transportation sectors.

Currently, the company boasts reduced emissions efforts through employing fully electric, hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas (CNG) and clean diesel as part of operations. The company lists four strategies that will enable the company to meet its target goals, one “milestone” at a time. To read more about the company’s plan, visit DHL.

Source: DHL

Gartner Positions DHL as Leader in 2019 Magic Quadrant list for 3PL

Global logistics contract provider, DHL joins many of its own customers on the 2019 Magic Quadrant list. The company’s impressive scale and seamless solutions integration for global clients contributed to earning the “Leader” title in the 2019 list.

“Predictability is critical in this business, and our customers count on us to maintain a level of unmatched operational excellence in everything we do,” said Scott Sureddin, Chief Executive Officer, DHL Supply Chain North America. “We believe that being named a Leader in the Magic Quadrant again this year is a testament to our ability to think strategically and operate exceptionally to drive continuous efficiency improvements for our customers across verticals.”

DHL Supply Chain was 1 of 19 companies surveyed for Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. DHL maintained the furthest position in Completeness of Vision, representing some of the most prominent North American 3PL experts. Roughly 70 percent of DHL Supply Chain clients were named in the 2018 list (Gartner, The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2018, Stan Aronow et al., 16 May 2018).

“These providers enable customers to outsource, either completely or partially, their logistics operations to external specialists. Many companies view logistics outsourcing as an effective strategy primarily to reduce costs, but more and more customers are seeking innovative solutions that can improve process and service as well.”

Source: DHL

ProMat Expo 2019: Day One Overview

Day one of ProMat Expo 2019 in Chicago concluded with thousands of attendees more educated on industry trends, products, and expert insight than when they arrived.

The trade show featured a vast array of massive displays, game-changing products, and innovative technology solutions – from robotics and disruptive AI, to packaging and warehouse solutions to support seamless operations and reduced inefficiencies.

With dozens of education seminars to choose from, the primary themes focused on AI integration and challenged perceptions on trends such as lean manufacturing. Keynote speakers took education one step further through comprehensive analysis and presentations filled with valuable expert knowledge and key takeaways essential for stepping up operations in 2019.

Among the presenting speakers included topic expert Scott Redelman, National Manager with Toyota Forklift in Atlanta, who took the trend of lean manufacturing and debunked common misconceptions on how to successfully integrate lean methods into operations. Redelman emphasized the importance of fully understanding the problems lean manufacturing solves before implementation.

“Lean manufacturing reduces process, not manpower,” he said.

Artificial Intelligence was another topic focal point with an entire morning filled with tech and AI-focused education seminars. Among these topic experts was Omar Rashid, Vice President of Operations Development at DHL Supply Chain. Rashid took a granular look at what drives the integration of AI, citing the goal of a dynamic environment as a key driver. Rashid also made it clear that although AI supports operational efficiencies, “there will always be a role for humans.”

As day two quickly approaches, Global Trade Magazine will continue capturing the best knowledge and industry expertise while learning about new challenges in innovation and technology solutions to share with our readers.

Global Connectedness Reached All-Time High in 2017

Global connectedness reached all-time high numbers in 2017 as a direct result of a substantial increase in, “flows of trade, capital, information and people across national borders” in a decade, according to DHL’s newly released Global Connectedness Index. Additionally, the delay of implementing key policy changes contributed to the increase of international economic growth.

“Even as the world continues to globalize, there is still tremendous untapped potential around the world. The GCI shows that currently, most of the movements and exchanges we’re seeing are domestic rather than international, yet we know that globalization is a decisive factor in growth and prosperity,” explains John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “Increasing international cooperation continues to contribute to stability so companies and countries that embrace globalization benefit tremendously.”

Among the countries that topped the list of “Most Globally Connected,” the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates took the spot for top five in the world.
North America, the Middle East and North Africa ranked as the top three regions for capital and information flows.
“Surprisingly, even after globalization’s recent gains, the world is still less connected than most people think it is,” commented GCI co-author Steven A. Altman, Senior Research Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business and Executive Director of NYU Stern’s Center for the Globalization of Education and Management. “This is important because, when people overestimate international flows, they tend to worry more about them.  The facts in our report can help calm such fears and focus attention on real solutions to societal concerns about globalization.”
To read the full report, click here.
Source: DHL 

DHL Supply Chain Recognized by Top Employers Institute

Contract logistics market leader DHL Supply Chain received multi-faceted recognition from the Top Employers Institute including praise for their outstanding human resources policy and taking the spot for Top Employer on the international stage in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, UK, Canada, USA, Brazil and China.

“We are delighted to be awarded as a Top Employer for the third year in a row. This certification demonstrates that our efforts to create a sustainable HR strategy at DHL Supply Chain are paying off,” said Rob Rosenberg, Global Head of Human Resources at DHL Supply Chain. “Especially in the field of contract logistics, a motivated and well-trained workforce is key to offering customers optimal solutions. Which is why we take a proactive and multi-layered approach to both attracting and retaining employees. And this approach is proving successful, as shown by this renewed certification from the Top Employers Institute.”

This year’s Top Employer certification established the third year in a row the company has been recognized. Additionally, the company received high recognition for Leadership Development, Career & Succession Management and Learning & Development.

“Talent is the most critical piece in meeting our customers’ ever-changing needs and exceeding their expectations,” said Tim Sprosty, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Supply Chain North America. “That is why we place such a strong emphasis on creating a quality work environment that enables our employees’ success and promotes operational excellence. It is central to our culture, and we’re proud to accept this recognition for our continued efforts.”

Source: DHL

DHL Identifies Supply Chain Management Trends for 2019

Supply chain management trends come in all shapes and sizes, varying from year to year. What might work one year could potentially disrupt operations the next year.

DHL, a leader in contract logistics, recently released a report highlighting the top four trends to look out for in 2019. The trends listed are specific to the North American regions and focus on the greatest impact.

Warehouse Robotics

It’s no surprise that warehouse robotics made the top of the list for 2019 trends. The report references DHL’s very own distribution network as an example of how the technology will expand.

“At DHL, we’ve taken a multi-vendor strategy to robotics that allows us to select the best technology for each application while using our scale to support multiple emerging solutions. This will ultimately help broaden the range of solutions available to the industry,” Scott Sureddin, CEO of DHL Supply Chain, North America said.

Proactivity and Flexibility

With constant news updates on tariffs and other trade-related policies changing at an unsettling pace, DHL stresses the importance of proactive supply chain planning and leveraging an evergreen market to build flexibility into operations. Additionally, the report references the use of cloud-based risk management solutions and supply chain modeling for consideration.

Evaluate Recruiting and Retention Strategies

DHL prides itself on the proactive efforts to keeping customers happy through the use of automated solutions in a time where the talent gap is substantial enough to become a challenge. The company has successfully automated their recruiting process as well as collaborated with colleges to promote the career opportunities available in supply chain management. Once again, proactivity is key.

Digitalization and Transportation

In short, transportation is reported to benefit the most from digitalization in 2019, providing industry resources and solutions to streamline transportation options and connections among shippers and carriers. The greatest advantage in digitalization is found within freight platforms that produce connectivity and efficiencies.

“Supply chain complexity has been growing for years and several of these trends threaten to create even more complexity,” said Sureddin. “However, we are also now seeing key technologies reach a level of maturity that enables them to be used to better manage complexity while also increasing productivity and reducing costs. That makes 2019 a very exciting year in the continuing evolution of the industry.”

 

Source: DHL Supply Chain

DHL Implements Hiring and Retention Strategy to Drive Supply Chain Sector

DHL Supply Chain’s newly implemented strategy to improve hiring and retention of warehouse workers for the company’s network has yielded substantial results including approximately 445 daily applications and nearly 32,000 fewer hours spent on administrative hiring tasks for this year.

“Our customers rely on us to provide talent that consistently meets their needs; and to accomplish that, we apply the same level of operational excellence to talent acquisition and retention as we do in developing supply chain solutions for our customers,” said Tim Sprosty, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at DHL Supply Chain. “Using a combination of innovative thinking and disciplined execution to attract and retain the people our business depends on is resulting in significant benefits.”

The goal of the new initiatives focuses on the here-to-stay talent gap in the supply chain market and was motivated by the October 2018 announcement from The Bureau of Labor Statistics that the unemployment rate had reached a near-50-year low.

Some of the initiatives outlined in the recent release from the company include a seven-regional recruiting center investment as well as an hourly recruiting and automated onboarding system that provides a seamless process from application onward.

-Investing in seven regional recruiting centers across the country, each using the same systems, processes and tools, with dedicated recruiting resources for high-quality hiring.

-An integrated hourly recruiting and onboarding system automates every step of the recruiting process, from online applications to onboarding.

“The talent gap is one of the most significant issues facing our industry, and we want to be at the forefront of the solution,” said Sprosty. “We believe the supply chain industry offers a wealth of opportunity to the right applicants, and our goal is to drive that message, and ensure it is easy for qualified applicants to enter the industry and rewarding for them to stay.”

Source: DHL

DHL Opens New Tokyo Distribution Hub

Tokyo, Japan – Logistics and shipping giant DHL has broken ground at its new $89 million custom-built Tokyo Gateway at Shin-kiba, Tokyo.

Slated for completion in the first quarter of 2016, the company reports the 46,000 square foot DHL Express Tokyo Gateway is DHL Express’ fourth gateway facility in Tokyo.

Located at the same strategic area where the DHL Tokyo Distribution Center (TDC) is currently situated, the new DHL Express Tokyo Gateway is accessible from the Narita International Airport, Haneda Airport, and Tokyo’s business districts.

“Japan is on the cusp of an economic revival, with slow but evident growth and imports reaching an all-time high of $800 billion last year,” said Jerry Hsu, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific. “In tandem with the country’s remarkable economic recovery, this investment will provide DHL sufficient capacity to accommodate current and future growth.”

Built to take over and extend the TDC’s operations, DHL said the new building will feature a 20,000-square-meter floor area including a gateway operations area that offering Customs clearance and bonded warehousing services.

In addition, the shipping giant said the new gateway would also house a pick-up and delivery service center for customers.

08/13/2014